Does POM pomegranate juice expire?

Pomegranate juice has become an increasingly popular beverage choice in recent years. With its tangy, tart flavor and potential health benefits, many consumers have added it to their rotation of grocery store purchases. But after opening a bottle of pomegranate juice, how long does it last before going bad? Here’s a comprehensive look at the shelf life and expiration timeline for POM pomegranate juice.

An Overview of POM Pomegranate Juice

POM Wonderful is one of the most widely known and distributed brands of pomegranate juice. It’s made from the juice of whole pomegranates and packaged in signature curved bottles. In addition to the original pomegranate juice, POM offers several other varieties like POM Cherry, POM Mango, and POM Lemonade. The company markets its juices as an exceptionally healthy beverage full of antioxidants. Research has suggested that pomegranate juice may help reduce blood pressure, decrease inflammation, and provide other benefits.

General Shelf Life of Pomegranate Juice

In its sealed, original bottle, pomegranate juice will typically last from 1 to 2 years past its printed expiration date. However, once opened, its shelf life decreases significantly. The exact timeframe depends on proper storage conditions.

Refrigerating After Opening

After opening a bottle of POM pomegranate juice, it’s extremely important to refrigerate it. Like many fruit juices, pomegranate juice is prone to spoilage from microbial growth. Cold refrigerator temperatures help prevent this spoilage. Here are some general guidelines for refrigeration:

  • Refrigerate after opening – Do not leave pomegranate juice out at room temperature after opening.
  • Use within 5-7 days – For best quality, use opened pomegranate juice within one week.
  • Recap tightly – Always screw the lid back on tightly to prevent oxygen exposure.
  • Store in back – Place opened bottles in the back of the refrigerator, rather than the door.

Can You Freeze Pomegranate Juice?

Freezing is an option for extending the shelf life of opened pomegranate juice. To freeze POM juice:

  • Pour juice into freezer safe container – Use plastic, glass, or freezer bags.
  • Remove as much air as possible – This prevents oxidation and quality loss.
  • Lay flat in freezer if using bags – This prevents the bag from splitting open.
  • Freeze for up to 3-4 months – Juice will retain quality for up to several months in a 0°F freezer.

Thaw frozen pomegranate juice overnight in the refrigerator before using. Give it a good shake or stir after thawing, as some separation may have occurred during freezing.

How to Tell If Pomegranate Juice Has Gone Bad

Be on the lookout for the following signs that your POM pomegranate juice has expired and may not be safe to drink:

  • Expired date – If the juice is past the date printed on the bottle, it should not be consumed.
  • Changes in color – Fresh pomegranate juice is a bright ruby red. Discoloration to brown indicates spoilage.
  • Clumping – Clumped sediment at the bottom of the bottle is a sign of aging.
  • Mold – Any fuzzy growth or visible mold is very unsafe to consume.
  • Off smells – Spoiled juice will smell yeasty, alcoholic, or unpleasant.
  • Fizzing – Fermentation causes carbonation – discard if bottle hisses upon opening.

When in doubt, remember the old adage “When in doubt, throw it out.” Consuming spoiled pomegranate juice can cause anything from an upset stomach to food poisoning.

Ways to Use Up Pomegranate Juice

If you buy larger bottles of pomegranate juice, you may struggle to use it up before it expires. Here are some clever ways to put that ruby red juice to work:

  • Add to smoothies – For an antioxidant boost in breakfast smoothies or shakes.
  • Use in sauces and marinades – Adds a tart punch to sauces and marinades.
  • Create fun drinks – Mix with sparkling water or vodka for festive beverages.
  • Bake with it – Add to muffins, cakes, and other baked goods.
  • Make popsicles – Freeze in popsicle molds for a healthy summer treat.
  • Toss with fruit – Drizzle over fresh fruit like melon and berries.

The Shelf Life of Other Popular Pomegranate Juice Brands

In addition to POM, there are other widely available pomegranate juice options on grocery store shelves. Here are the typical expiration timelines for some other common brands:

Brand Unopened Shelf Life After Opening
Lakewood 18-24 months 3-5 days in refrigerator
Minute Maid 8-12 months 5-7 days in refrigerator
R.W. Knudsen 18 months 5-7 days in refrigerator
Jamba Juice 18 months 3-5 days in refrigerator

As you can see, most major brands recommend using pomegranate juice within about one week of opening. Be sure to follow all suggestions for refrigeration after opening.

The Bottom Line

When properly stored, pomegranate juice can maintain quality and freshness for an impressive period of time, even after opening. An unopened bottle lasts around 1-2 years at room temperature past the printed expiration date. Once opened, it’s best to refrigerate POM or any pomegranate juice and use within about one week.

Keep your juice refrigerated, tightly sealed, and examine it carefully before drinking to ensure it hasn’t expired or become spoiled. With sound storage methods, you can continue to enjoy the delicious flavor and health perks of pomegranate juice long after cracking open a new bottle.

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